Idea Engine
Hacking Black Futures-Banner-04.png

Hacking Black Futures


Jan 17 - 21 2018


This exhibition presented design speculations on Black centric societies that are devoid of oppression, discrimination, and systemic issues. We asked ourselves: What do these societies look like? How do they function? How can these futures be achieved? How do we deconstruct and remove colonial influence from our ideas surrounding the future? This exhibition represented an opportunity to explore these questions in an immersive and collaborative space, through critical and speculative design.

Curated by Andre Baynes and Chiedza Pasipanodya

In partnership with the OCADU Black Youth Design Initiative



Addae Nurse, Denzel Arthur & Thomas Graham, Ene Agi, Kelvin Mendie, Kimani Peter, Lequanne Collins-Bacchus, Maisha Marshall-Ende, Olivia Spence, Peter Scott, Renee Mathews, Toni Cater, Daejuawn Hamilton, Ashley Lewis, Michael Otchie

Futurism by Addae Nurse

Futurism by Addae Nurse

Photos by Addae Nurse

DenimWigs - by Renee Matthews, worn here by Chiedza Pasipanodya

DenimWigs - by Renee Matthews, worn here by Chiedza Pasipanodya



Mutek IMG Festival 2018 - Inventing the future presentation and panel

Mutek IMG Festival 2018 - Inventing the future presentation and panel

What is speculative


Speculative design uses storytelling to explore ideas outside of physical constraints. It can be a powerful tool for exploring design solutions and reframing socio-economic issues through narrative and story. This kind of storytelling is evident in almost all forms of science fiction and has historically driven how we view the future and the role of technology in our lives. However, media and film has also constrained our expectations of the future and who is valued there.


What was


This exhibition displayed works of design speculation across various mediums including: prototypes, models, videos, and interactive experiences. Each work aimed to imagine technologies and systems that highlight the experience of fictional members of new Black societies. Participants were able to interact with the installations and provide feedback and contributions to this crowdsourced model of the future.

Where was

it held?

The exhibition was held at BAND [Black Artists Network Dialogue] Gallery.




Food sovereignty

How might Black societies control our own food systems? How do we make sure our food sources are free of human exploitation?

the social economy

Capitalism is directly implicated in the past and contemporary enslavement of Black peoples. What comes after capitalism? How could we create equitable economic ecosystems?

the maker revolution

The proliferation of digital fabrication tools and open source platforms has enabled Black communities to create things, which would have been out of reach just a few years ago. How might we improve access to such tools? And what might be their further positive impact on Black societies?

Sustainable systems

How might these speculative Black societies be more conscious about the objects we make, buy, use and throw away? How might biomimetic design play a role in the way we live?


Special Thanks to,